Easy and Cheap DIY Spinners

If you come into my classroom, you are bound to see spinners EVERYWHERE! I seriously use them for a million different activities every day (both math and literacy related!). One of the biggest reasons why I like these activities is that they are so engaging for young children. Give a child a spinner, and they automatically think they're playing a game! However, more important from a teacher's perspective, is that spinners allow for easy differentiation. Students can be working on the same activity, but their results can vary based on the content of their spinner. Here's an example from my classroom today:
This student is working on matching a numeral to a quantity and correctly tracing the number.
This student is doing a similar activity, but she is working with larger numbers, is matching a numeral to a quantity, and is practicing correct numeral formation on her own using a whiteboard.
So what types of spinners do I use? I LOVE the simple spinners that you can make with a pencil and a paperclip. They are usually found on worksheets, work mats, or in interactive notebooks. They are simple and effective! But sometimes, students are working with whiteboards, manipulatives, or aren't recording things at all. This is where my DIY spinners come in handy. These spinners are durable and require less fine motor coordination, so in the world of kindergarten, they're heaven!
To make these spinners, you will need:
Empty CD cases
Hot glue
Transparent spinners 

First, print your spinner graphic. Standard CD cases are about 5 inches by 5 1/4 inches, but I like to print mine a little smaller to make sure that I don't have to go back and trim anything off. The graphic should fit right under the little tabs on the CD case cover, but if yours is a little small, you can just secure it with a piece of tape.
Next, close the CD case, and hot glue the transparent spinner to the front of the CD case. I like to put one dot of hot glue in each corner because even though it's clear, you can still see it a bit (and my OCD doesn't like that!)
There are a bunch of different transparent spinners out there, but I like to use the ones without any pre-printed spinner circles on them because then I can control how many different segments my spinner will have.
And there ya have it! An easy, cheap, and DURABLE spinner! (See that hot glue? ARG!) I especially like that these are reusable. I have spinners for every math and literacy unit, and I keep them filed in the corresponding unit's binder. When it's time for the activity, I know just where to find them, and I can make the spinners in no time at all. I don't have to constantly be printing, cutting, and assembling!

Happy Spinning!
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